Happening Today:

8:30 a.m. | MassINC Polling Group along with health care and education organizations host "Tapping the Power of Health Pathways in Early College High School." | Simches Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, 185 Cambridge St., Boston

9:30 a.m. | Acting Governor Kim Driscoll gives remarks at the Military Friends Foundation Medal of Liberty and the Medal of Fidelity Presentation Event. | Memorial Hall

10 a.m. | The Senate holds a formal session to begin weeding through the more than 1,000 amendments to the Senate Ways and Means Committee's fiscal 2024 budget bill. | Senate Chamber

11 a.n. | Environment advocates and lawmakers rally in support of 100 percent clean energy, | In front of the State House

11 a.m. | Boston Mayor Michelle Wu gives remarks at an event celebrating Armed Forces Day and Military Spouse Appreciation Day. | City Hall Flag Poles, City Hall Plaza, 1 City Hall Square, Boston

Of the 1,049 amendments tacked onto the Senate budget, one that aims to legalize online state lottery sales appears dead on arrival as debate opens on Tuesday.

But iLottery is still in the cards for Massachusetts, lawmakers said.

House Democrats already approved online lottery sales as part of a $56.2 billion state budget proposal. Gov. Maura Healey and Treasurer Deborah Goldberg are also backing the shift online.

Interest in digitizing state lotteries has shot up as mobile sports betting — now legal in 26 states — catches on.

Web-based lottery sales are legal in seven states. Six more are currently considering bills that would bring sales to the web.

Two bills pending in Massachusetts (H255 and S170), filed by Rep. Daniel Cahill and Sen. Paul Feeney, would stand up an online lottery.

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr is backing the push. He’s also backed Democrat Feeney’s amendment.

Feeney did not respond to MASSterList’s questions and also ducked questions from The Boston Herald earlier this month. It could be indicative of a fight already lost in a chamber where leaders have been outspoken in opposition.

Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues has meanwhile called the House’s bluff on what he considers overblown revenue estimates of $200 million, saying he’d rather put “real money” behind the child-care grants representatives want the money to support.

Lottery profits were a $1.105 billion boon to Massachusetts cities and towns in 2022, but state Lottery Interim Executive Director Mark Bracken has warned the lottery needs something new.

Bracken has backed an online lottery as sales have slumped of late. Numbers were down in the fall.

A revenue bump in spring 2023 has been strictly due to the February introduction of the $50 scratch ticket, “Billion Dollar Extravaganza,” Bracken said.

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Keller at Large

Massachusetts politicians are no strangers to corruption or malfeasance and WBZ political analyst Jon Keller writes former U.S. Attorney General Rachael Rollins’ assertion that much of the allegations against her “amount to minor process fouls” is also a common refrain among politicians gone awry.


Boston councilors agree on new redistricting map

The Boston City Council has agreed on a new redistricting map, reports Gayla Cawley for The Boston Herald. In a marathon session marked by disagreement and lengthy recesses on Monday ended with a map based on a proposal put forward by Councilor Ruthzee Louijeune with input from her colleagues.It redraws lines in a way that achieves population balance for each of the city’s nine districts.

The Boston Herald

Cannabis regulators scrap pot cafe pilot program

The state Cannabis Control Commission voted on Monday to scrap a pilot program from the regulations on social consumption in an effort to speed up the process to open cannabis cafes in Massachusetts, writes Cassie McGrath for The Boston Business Journal. Social consumption is a license type that would allow for businesses to sell cannabis on the same premise that it is consumed, like a bar for weed. 

Boston Business Journal

Stakeholders want governor to zero in on opioid crisis 

​​During her campaign for governor, Healey promised she would continue to address opioid addiction and overdoses, reports GBH. While the statewide overdose rate fell slightly in 2022, it still kills around 2,000 people a year — and is up around 10% from 2020.


Archdiocese of Boston sued by 3 alleged sexual abuse victims 

Archdiocese of Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley has been sued by three alleged sexual abuse victims who claim that Arlington Catholic High School’s former vice principal assaulted the teens last decade, reports Rick Sobey for The Boston Herald. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented clergy sexual abuse victims for decades, on Monday said he filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of the three alleged childhood sexual abuse victims.

The Boston Herald

Quincy mayor renews pushback on Boston’s controversial Long Island Bridge proposal

The mayor of Quincy is digging in his heels on long-standing opposition to the Long Island Bridge project after Mayor Michelle Wu said Boston is moving forward with a plan to rebuild the controversial span, reports WCVB. The bridge once connected the mainland to a substance abuse treatment center on Moon Island. That facility was also shut down. On WCVB’s “On The Record,” Wu said that permits for a new bridge will be announced soon.


Hate crimes in Mass. grew by a third in 2022, ADL report finds

Hate and extremism rose by 33 percent in Massachusetts last year, driven by increases in antisemitic incidents, white supremacist propaganda activity, and threats and harassment directed at members of the LGBTQ+ community, according to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League. The Boston Globe writes that the ADL’s “Hate in the Bay State” report found Massachusetts faced the nation’s second-highest rate of white supremacist propaganda in 2022.

The Boston Globe

Hoax swatting call leads to real gunfire at St. John’s Prep

An apparent hoax swatting call that drew police to St. John’s Prep in Danvers on Monday escalated after one of the responding officers accidentally discharged his gun in an empty bathroom. The incident, which prompted a lockdown and drew a massive public safety response, came on the one-year anniversary of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. 

The Salem News | The Boston Globe

Cambridge council votes to release officer’s name in January fatal shooting 

After months of debate, the Cambridge City Council voted Monday to create a policy that will enable the city to release the name of a police officer involved in the fatal shooting of a local college student in January. Marc Levy of Cambridge Day reports the process could take a while, with a policy framework expected by the end of June–just before the council goes on its summer hiatus.

Cambridge Day

After negative EPA report, National Guard makes its case for machine-gun run 

Ahead of a key public hearing this week on a negative EPA report about its planned machine-gun range at Joint Base Cape Cod, the Army National Guard is inviting local residents to see first hand how the base protects the local environment. The EPA’s finding that the firing range could pose a threat to the Cape’s drinking water supply could be a fatal blow to the controversial project. 

The Cape Cod Times

Another way? Meeting with Warren staff, Lee officials eye alternative cleanup methods for PCBs

Following a meeting with staff from the office of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, officials in Lee are expressing optimism that communication with the EPA will improve, but also want to be able to consider alternative methods of cleaning PCBS from the Housatonic River that doesn’t require a landfill for contaminated soil in their town. The Berkshire Eagle’s Scott Stafford notes that Lee officials believe they have a strong case to make against the landfill on environmental justice grounds.

The Berkshire Eagle

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MASSterList editor Erin Tiernan is an award-winning reporter who brings a decade's worth of experience covering state and local politics from the halls of the State House to city streets. Her work can be found in The Boston Herald, The Patriot Ledger, MassLive and Wicked Local. She was the New England Newspaper and Press Association's 2019 Reporter of the Year.